Travel Reference
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tomb, rooms of glittering gem-
stones, the royal Cameroon palace
from Africa, and hundreds of
stuffed animals (not of the teddy
bear variety) in their habitat.
Beware of the Field's mesmerizing
qualities on adults and kids alike:
A friend of mine began meditat-
ing in an Indian tepee, only to
open his eyes and find the
museum closed! See p. 151.
Exploring Underwater Life:
Most kids have a fascination for
life under the sea, and an after-
noon watching dolphins frolic
and colorful tropical fish swim cir-
cles around a mammoth tank is
sure to enthrall. John G. Shedd
Aquarium, with its all-time
favorite dolphin show and pre-
cious beluga whales, is a surefire
winner with kids. See p. 154.
Marveling at the Innovations of
Science and Industry: You can't
go wrong at the Museum of Sci-
ence and Industry, Chicago's
perennial kids' favorite. Watch
chicks hatch in an incubator. Catch
an IMAX movie at the Henry
Crown space theater. Step aboard a
retired 727 United Airlines jetliner.
Travel deep into a replica of a
Southern Illinois coal mine. And,
as of spring 2005, the newly
restored and always classic exhibit
of a captured German U-boat goes
back on display in a new, climate-
controlled environment (years of
sitting outside in the elements took
their toll). With so much to do,
you might want to divide and con-
quer by spending a couple of after-
noons here. See p. 158.
Taking to the Water from Navy
Pier: Chicago's number-one tourist
attraction is home to another kids'
favorite—the Chicago Children's
Museum. Navy Pier is also the
jumping-off point for many of the
boat tours of Lake Michigan, so
find a vessel that's your speed, from
powerboats to tall-masted schoon-
ers, and take to the water! See
p. 159.
Talking to the Animals: Located
within Chicago's famous lakefront
park, the Lincoln Park Zoo is con-
venient, compact, and charming.
And what's not to love about a
place that's open 365 days a year
and never charges a cent for
admission? This, the nation's old-
est zoo, is famous for its major
collection of gorillas, which live in
the newly rebuilt Great Ape
House, which gives its residents
more outdoor living space (and
the ability to control the tempera-
ture in their habitat, believe it or
not). The adjoining Farm-in-the-
Zoo allows urban kids to wander a
working farm and meet cows,
pigs, horses, chicks, and goats.
And Pritzker Children's Zoo also
recently received a makeover. See
p. 185.
Riding the “El”: L is not just the
12th letter of the alphabet, but also
the greatest, least expensive enter-
tainment your kids will enjoy in
Chicago (even though fares have
jumped a quarter, to $1.75 per
ride). Hop a southbound Brown
Line elevated train toward the
Loop, and watch the city unfold as
the train crosses the Chicago River
and screeches through downtown
canyons. See “Kid-Friendly Tours,”
in chapter 6.
Cruising Chicago's Waterways:
A Chicago River cruise should be
one of your first stops in our fair
city. I didn't step aboard until I'd
lived in the city for 2 years—and
boy, did I miss out! Kids and
adults alike will love the Chicago
Architecture Foundation's river
cruise. Or, head to Navy Pier and
hop on one of the myriad vessels
that stand ready to chauffer you
around Lake Michigan. Whatever
way you go, the best vantage point
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